Topmost Diaspora Nigerian business icons – Abbey Wemimo

Mr. Abbey Wemimo, co-founder and co-CEO, Esusu Financial Inc, is a Nigerian immigrant to the United States, a fintech executive, who took Nigeria’s traditional financial infrastructure to bridge the racial wealth gap in America. The country’s otherwise super financial system yet had the deficiency of excluding over 45 million Americans from the credit markets.

The figure means that one out of 10 Adult Americans had no credit history with the existing credit reporting agencies. Without credit histories, immigrants are usually denied credit from traditional financial institutions. 

Wemimo’s Esusu financial platform is his solution that broke the barrier to financial inclusion for many in the United States, creating equitable financial access for everyone.

In the US, visibility in the credit markets is the channel to the financial system and the millions of people without credit scores on account of their backgrounds, race and zip code find themselves marginalised. That disadvantage was the opportunity for the Esusu platform innovators to leverage data solutions to capture all that were excluded no matter where they come from through an alternative financial access window.

Wemimo’s Esusu Financial Inc was founded in 2018 with a mission to raise people from credit invisibility to financial identity and stability and move on toward financial wellness and wealth building. It partners and integrates with major property management platforms to capture, transform and report rental payment data to the three major credit bureaus in the United States.

The Esusu digital platform builds and boosts residents’ credit scores by sharing on-time rental payments of participants. The company has established itself as a leading financial technology platform, leveraging data to empower renters and improve property performance.

The platform provides rent reporting, rich property management analytics and rental assistance, unlocking financial access and creating stability for renters and property owners alike.

The vision of the founders is a world without delinquency, housing evictions and homelessness. Wemimo is therefore set on a mission to dismantle barriers to these goals in housing for working families.

The company’s service offerings include a Rent Relief Fund designed to provide rent relief for renters experiencing financial hardship, including COVID-19 induced difficulties. Anyone who currently rents in the United States and resides in any of the properties on the Esusu platform is eligible regardless of immigration status.

The interest free housing stability loan will be paid directly to the property managers while the resident repays in 12 monthly installments. The all-in-one rent reporting platform is also designed to appeal to property owners by inducing on-time rent payments, preventing the cost and inconvenience of evictions and bringing about low vacancy periods.

This also means increase in cash flow for landlords in view of the company’s records of 25 percent increase in on-time rent payments, increase in demand for apartments with rent reporting and increase of 51 points in average resident’s credit score in 18 months with Esusu.

Through the Esusu platform, Wemimo has brought in significant value added to the US’ housing and credit markets. In credit building, the platform has spurred human capital development, housing justice, financial inclusion and credit access. It provides vital reports on impact metrics such as credit score and credit rate increases and evictions prevented with housing stability support.

Wemimo immigrated to Minneapolis from Nigeria in 2009 at the age of 17 with his mother, having lost his father at 2-year old. He experienced firsthand the hard times that usually face immigrants in starting new lives in foreign countries without resources and without access to the traditional financial institutions for critical credit support.

The financial technology entrepreneur felt marginalized by the financial system that leaves hard choices for immigrants. “You have to go into debt to get some sort of credit history going, which makes no sense to me,” he said.

This was precisely the only choice left to his mother, who had to accept a loan with an outrageous 400-percent-plus interest rate in a desperate struggle to get the family settled and pay for her son’s college education.

Wemimo is a graduate in Business Management from the University of Minnesota Crookston. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration & Non-Profit Management Policy, International Relations and Affairs, New York University. He is Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow, Public Policy and International Affairs, University of California, Berkeley.

He is also the founder of Clean Water for Everyone and Open Aid Initiative. He has held top management jobs such as deals consultant – M&A professional, PwC, operational risk management, Goldman Sachs and consultant, European Commission. Others include Program, Clinton Global Initiative and Summer Associate, Accenture.

His outstanding accomplishments have earned him a number of major international recognitions. These include Queens Young Leader, Issued by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in Jan 2016, the Abbey – Young Alumni Award by University of Minnesota in October 2015 and Dean’s Scholarship by Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service of New York University.

Others are Presidential Service Award by New York University and Young Africans Committed to Excellence Award (YACE), by Face2Face Africa.